Cong, NC, PDP oppose revocation of Art 370, 35-A, UT status; BJP terms it as historic decision

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Aug 5: Various opposition political parties have opposed the decision of the Union Government to revoke Article 370, 35 A and granting of Union Territory status to Kashmir and Jammu besides separate UT to Ladakh while BJP has termed it as a historic decision in the interest of the State and the country.
Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president, Ghulam Ahmed Mir while describing this decision of the Modi Government as undemocratic, unjustified and anti-people, said that it has been done by keeping sword on the neck of people of Jammu and Kashmir. They were kept in the dark. Union Govt created undeclared emergency like situation on the name of biggest security threat/ militants attack on yatra; enacted a drama and deployed a largest number of troops. They suspended the ongoing Shri Amarnath Ji Yatra, which never happened even during peak militancy in the 1990s in the State. They hurt the religious sentiments of the people. The J&K has not only loses its statehood but special status as well, Mir said.
PCC chief said BJP had Art 370 in their manifesto but the procedure adopted for the same was totally wrong and undemocratic. They should have taken all the main stream political parties into confidence by holding all party meet or conducting debates. By adopting this way and taking all the people/ stake holders on board, perhaps 50 % of the people would come have for the support. But at the gun point the people can not be cowed down. This move will have serious ramifications in the days to come. There will be problem in Ladakh also as Kargil people were opposing UT status.
Mir said reducing this state into UT, it is again a big fraud and cheating not only with the people of Kashmir but also Jammu region, who had given massive mandate to BJP. The people from Jammu had never demanded UT. They had been raising voice for the separate statehood. For what they have been punished. If the people from outside would come to settle here and do jobs, they would prefer Jammu only and the youth of Jammu will be on roads in the coming years due to great unemployment problem. Moreover, about 7-8 Lakh people from Bihar, UP and Chhatisgarh in Jammu will become voters and may also contest elections. Congress strongly opposes and condemns this decision and as would have serious affect on the people of the State, Mir maintained.
Senior PCC leaders Madan Lal Sharma and Raman Bhalla also termed this decision as anti-State and anti-Jammu and claimed that BJP has committed a greatest blunder and it will have serious impact on the people of Jammu and especially the educated and unemployed youth of the region. They said the religious sentiments of the people were hurt by suspending pilgrimages and people were totally misled. BJP has lost the trust of the people by giving different reasons of suspending yatra and deployment of troops and created an atmosphere of illusion and mistrust. They will have to pay heavy price for it.
The J&K unit of BJP has welcomed the Government’s historic decision on Article 370 of the Constitution, which grants special status to the state, saying the people were thankful to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for “mitigating their pain”.
Reacting to the developments after Home Minister Amit Shah moved a resolution in Rajya Sabha to revoke Article 370, state BJP president Ravinder Raina said the residents of Jammu and Kashmir irrespective of their caste, creed and religion are with the prime minister.
“It is a historic moment for Jammu and Kashmir, the entire population of the State is thankful to him (Modi) for mitigating their pain,” Raina said.
“Modi was the first to reach out to Kashmiris when they were facing the brunt of devastating floods in 2014. He visited them and made every effort to ensure their safety,” he added.
Senior BJP leader and former Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh too congratulated the people and said the whole country had waited for over 70 years for this moment.
“Jammu and Kashmir has integrated into India and the historic decision of the Centre will further cement its relation with the state. The bill will get passed to fulfil the long standing dream of the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” Singh said.
The BJP-led Government is completing the work left behind by Sardar Patel who integrated 562 princely states including Jammu and Kashmir to lay the foundation of strong India, he said.
“The beginning has started and will be taken to its logical conclusion,” he said accusing country’s first Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru for creating a provision under Article 370 to guarantee special status to Jammu and Kashmir as part of his policy to appease National Conference founder Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah.
Former minister and senior National Conference leader Ajay Sadhotra termed this decision of the Union Govt as anti- people and anti-democratic. He said that people of the State were misled by the Modi Government by claiming that there was fear of massive terror attack in the State. Religious sentiments of the people from one community were hurt by suspending Shri Amarnath Ji Yatra, Shri Budha Amarnath Ji and Machail Mata Yatras as well.
Sadhotra said that for the last one week, a scare was created with the deployment of large number of security forces and issuing advisories to the tourists, pilgrims and people living in Kashmir from out side. The way this all was done, is totally undemocratic. No stake holder was taken on board, no political consultation was conducted before going for such a big decision. Such a big state has been reduced to a mere Union Territory which is not acceptable to the people of this state. The NC strongly condemns and opposes this decision and will fight against this great injustice, Sadhotra said.
Senior PDP leader and former legislator Ved Mahajan said that this decision of the Modi Govt was totally against the interests of the people from Jammu and Kashmir. He said this large state has been converted into UT with mere a stroke of pen. The stake holders were not taken into confidence. Moreover, with the settlement of people from outside, the rates of the land would go sky high and the youth of Jammu would not be able to get Govt or even private jobs. This is undemocratic move of Modi Govt. They created such a big hype and war like situation in the State by misleading people. Moreover, they suspended yatra to hurt religious sentiments of Hindus, Mahajan said.
National Panthers Party (NPP) leader Prof Bhim Singh described the Bill presented in the Parliament today as unacceptable and amounts to a serious threat to the National Integration of a 200 years old State of Jammu & Kashmir founded by Maharaja Gulab Singh in 1846 but dissolved today in 2019 by this Bill.
NPP leader said that there could be no compromise on the status of Jammu & Kashmir as a State, as one of the Indian states which got integrated to the Union of India in 1947 like other 575 states.
Singh said, ” Panthers Party stands for reorganization of Jammu & Kashmir State and not for dissolution of the present State into 2 Union Territories. Secondly, the Panthers Party stands for ‘twin states’ in Jammu & Kashmir namely that of Kashmir Valley & Jammu State, both of which shall function as a Confederation. About Ladakh region, the Panthers Party leaves the decision to the people of Ladakh region for a UT or any other. The NPP rejects the proposal of BJP as presented in the Bill moved in the Rajya Sabha depriving the State of Jammu & Kashmir its existing statehood status,” he added.
While reacting to the move, former minister and NPP president, Harsh Dev Singh said that though his party welcomes revocation of Art 35A and Art 370 also but it should have been revoked fully. He asked why first part of the Article 370 was not revoked. He said there was no need to create scare and suspend yatras by hurting religious sentiments of the people from one faith. He said this largest state created by Maharaja Gulab Singh and Gen Zorawar Singh has been reduced to mere UT by separating it from Ladakh. He said Jammu and NPP has always demanded separate Statehood and not the UT. It is most unfortunate that people of Jammu have again been cheated, victimised and stabed in the back by the BJP leadership, Hash Dev asserted.
Jammu West Assembly Movement president, Sunil Dimple has claimed that he would fight for Jammu statehood as reducing the state to just UT is great setback to the people of Jammu. He said revocation of Art 370 was never in the interest of the youth and people of the state. A great injustice has been done with the people of Jammu, he added.